What is Temporary Custody and Why is it Important?
Once you separate from your spouse and file for divorce, it's imperative that you determine a custody arrangement. If you and your former spouse cannot decide on the issue amicably, you should seek temporary custody court orders. Temporary custody orders, otherwise known as "Pendente Lite Orders," will govern who will have custody and visitation pending trial or settlement in your matter.
If you and your former spouse cannot decide on a custody arrangement amicably, you should seek temporary custody court orders.
Temporary Custody Orders
Temporary child custody orders often have significant impact on your permanent or final custody arrangement, so it's very important for you to ensure that you and your attorney negotiate a custody schedule that you are satisfied with. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you should consider fighting for more custody at this early stage. Either way, be aware that whatever you agree on as a temporary custody order oftentimes ends up as the permanent order.
If you can't reach an agreement, consider filing an "Order to Show Cause for Temporary Custody." In this instance, you will have to attend mandatory court-ordered mediation.
Child Custody Evaluations
You should also discuss with your attorney whether it would be beneficial to request a 730 child custody evaluation. If your child is mature and has a well-thought out preference as to which parent they wish to primarily reside with, ask your attorney about a court-appointed attorney to represent your child (minor's counsel).
The Impact of Temporary Custody Orders
While in theory it's possible for temporary orders to be significantly modified at a future hearing or trial, it's not likely. In most cases, any temporary custody orders will have a long-lasting impact on your final custodial arrangement. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into an arrangement. Seek counsel early in the process and stand your ground.
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California Divorce Guide